If you're going to knock out hunger, your going to need a little muscle. That's why the United Way of Bucks County invited boxing middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins to pump the hundred of volunteers working the assembly lines Friday at the Keystone Clubhouse in Ann's Choice in Warminster.
More than 500 people gave up their day to help prepare approximately 100,000 meals for local food pantries throughout Bucks County. The event was the culmination of months of organizing and fundraising for the United Way of Bucks County's Knock Out Hunger campaign.
"So many people came out of the woodwork to come together and help solve the problem of hunger in Bucks County," said United Way of Bucks County CEO Jamie Haddon. "It shows how much we can do if more people give up just a little bit of their time."
The day was spilt into two, 90-minute shifts: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Pallets held sacks of soybeans and dry pasta, which were distributed to the countless tables. The food was gathered using money generated from months of donations by area businesses and organizations. During the second shift, Haddon announced that United Way reached its ultimate goal of $36,000 for the campaign.
"We donated $2,000 to the United Way of Bucks County to help purchase the food," said Karen Johnson-Susko, a representative from GE Water & Process Technologies, based in Bensalem. "That's in addition to money donated by individual employees."
As one of the main sponsors of the Bucks Knock Out Hunger event, GE's assistance did not stop at the wallet. Johnson-Susko organized more than 90 staff members to scoop pasta and pack up the meals.
More than 450 boxes were filled with 36 packaged meals, each package containing six full servings. Cars and vans arrived to deliver the boxes to the 27 food pantries around Bucks County that help feed the 64,000 people that Haddon says are food insecure.
"This is a blessing," said James Waller as he picked up 20 boxes to deliver to the Second Baptist Church in Bristol. "We served 520 people in July alone, and our supplies have been low for a long time."